Friday, February 9, 2007

"Fun Friday" plus a Movie Tag.

Oh, what a beautiful morning.


I've got a headcold type thing at the moment and I'm supposed to stay home from school. I woke up around
8:00 and curled up really warm in my blanket, before turning on the radio mounted on the wall beside my bed. I listened to Radio 4 for a while (The Today Show, Desert Island Discs and then the Book of the Week) and drifted in and out of sleep. Then I sat up, turned on my lamp and finished the book I'm reading, "Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry That Shaped Post-War America" by Christopher Matthews and listened to Jaques Brel.

After finishing the books (a very nicely written, punchy, approachable book about politics that I'd recommend), I find myself slightly ambivalent about JFK. The book insinuated that he depended on his father's money to get himself elected into Congress and eventually, the Presidency. Running against Nixon in 1960, he seemed to use his good-looks and charm to woo voters. I've no doubt that he was a good president, but it seems that a lot of the JFK idolatry that goes on has stemmed from the fact he was assasinated at an early age. He also had a lot to do with the Vietnam War. Having said that, Nixon is even less-likeable. There are some amusing anecdotes in the book, which also highlight how much of politics is dirty tricks.

After a while on the net, I turned it off and began to read “Travels in the Scriptorium” by Paul Auster. Halfway through the book, I got out of bed and pulled on some pj bottoms, discarded on the floor from a few nights passed. I then padded downstairs to get some food. In the warm, bright kitchen I set up the coffeemaker and put some bread in the toaster. The sun poured sweetly through the big window and brightened my mood. I poured myself a tall mug of coffee and added a drop of milk, spread liberal amounts of jam on the hot toast and carried my meal carefully upstairs, where I wrapped myself in the blanket once again and began to eat. I changed cds, switching the mournful Jaques Brel to the more cheerful Marvin Gaye compilation, while finishing the latest Paul Auster novel. Finishing in just under an hour, I felt intriguied but somehow left empty by it. It read almost like a eulogy, characters from earlier novels popping up in an interesting but ultimately disapointing fashion. I wonder where Auster will go next?

I would quite like to rent a dvd to watch later on, perhaps “Good Night & Good Luck” because after reading the Matthews book, I have a desire to learn more about 20th Century American politics and the McCarthy-era seems to be as good as a place as any to start.

Speaking of films, here's another one of these things:

1. Popcorn or candy?
I'm going to pick candy here, because although popcorn is the quintessential movie-food and tastes damn good, the buckets in CineWorld are so damned expensive that I only rarely buy one. Whereas sweets you can just buy in Spar and smuggle in under your coat.

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.
Hmm...there's a lot. I'll go with P.T. Anderson's Magnolia because (a) I've heard nothing but good things about it, (b) I'm a sucker for those types of interconnected storyline, headfuck movies and (c) it has some actors that I like in it (eg: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy and wife Felicity Huffman, Alfred Molina etc).

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?
Mwahaha! Okay, the 1950 Academy Awards. I'd take away Judy Holliday's Best Actress for Born Yesterday and give it to Bette Davis for All About Eve. Nothing against Holliday, I've never even seen Born Yesterday, but the only reason that Davis didn't win was because her co-star, Anne Baxter, pressurised the Academy to get herself a Best Actress nomination, rather than Suporting Actress. So, the Eve vote was split in two, and Davis was denied proper recognition for her greatest role. Argh

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be?
I'm thinking of eschewing glamour and picking Alex's Boilersuit ensemble from A Clockwork Orange. What a great Halloween costume that would be. Or, Galadriel's white gown from The Fellowship of the Ring.

5. Your favorite film franchise is...
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Pete Jackson did a masterful job of trimming down Tolkein's masterpiece into three astounding films, Howard Shore's score (how hard is that to say?!) still makes me come over all nostalgic and even though the dialogue is sometimes a tad overblown, when seasoned thesps like McKellen and Blanchett intone the words, you believe them. Yes!!!

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them?
A dinner party?! How very...not me. Howenever, here's my guests:

1. Bette Davis. She'd more than likely turn-up her nose at myself and the other dinner guests, but she'd be sure to say something witty and cruel. Plus, I could thank her over and over again for All About Eve.

2. Katharine Hepburn. Because she's a screen-legend. And if the conversation turned a little boring, she could entertain us with the olive trick from Bringing Up Baby.

3. Ewan McGregor. He could sing and dance the tunes from Moulin Rouge! , turn on the Southern Charm from Big Fish and then..I dunno..shoot some heroin or something.

4. Ian McKellen. Because he's Gandalf! And Magneto! And Iago, Richard III, Macbeth... Plus, if we said Grace, he'd have the best voice for it.

5. Pedro Almodóvar. Because at the moment he's my favourite director and because we need some European flavour at the dinner table Also, the only way this party could be any campier is if Graham Norton, Barbera Streisand and Liberace were invited.

I can see food becoming a problem, as I have a feeling that some guests are veggies. Ah, screw it, it's now a cocktail/fruit juice party with helium balloons. That should appease people.


7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?
You know what's worse? People getting so angry over cell phones in cinemas that they disrupte the film more than the actual phone-user. A few years ago, watching Jeux d'enfants in CineWorld, someones phone went off. A woman in the front of the cinema stood up and began to scream at the unfortunate with the phone, going wild with a torrent of angry words. It was quite scary, to tell you the truth. Back on topic: a penalty point system, perhaps? Three strikes on your card and you're banned from cinemas until the end of time.

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days.
This one's a no-brainer. Mystique could morph herself into The Bride or Ripley or King Kong or whoever she felt like, thus being the ultimate bodyguard. Plus, she might bring her pal Magneto along with her. Everyone's a winner, baby.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?
When I was about 12 I watched Interview With A Vampire and was convinced it was all real. It freaked me out for months afterwards. I do get genuinely terrified at films though, I'm a wimp. The Descent was the scariest in a long line of horror films I watched last year, by far.

10. Your favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is?
Hmm. Toss-up between Musicals (Singin' in the Rain, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Moulin Rouge!), Biopics (Walk The Line, Amadeus, Coal Miner's Daughter, Boys Don't Cry) and Horror (The Descent, Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, Halloween).

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?
I'd fire Renee Zellweger right off the bat and give more publicity to foreign films. I'd give Alomdóvar a big heap of money and say "Keep up the good work, Pedro". I'd also get Daniel Handler on board to write the screenplay for The Basic Eight and assemble a team of unknowns to play the lead characters. Tarantino would have a gun to his head to finish Inglorious Bastards and Richard Curtis would be challenged to write something that ISN'T a feelgood romcom starring Hugh Grant. Somebody would make a decent biopic of Siouxsie and the Banshees...actually, scrap that last idea. I couldn't bear the thought of someone messing with Siouxsie.

12. Bonnie or Clyde?
Not having seen this yet (for shame, for shaaaame!), I'm going to pick Bonnie just because she's a girl. Solidarity, sister.

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